After an intense workout, you wanna sit back, relax and eat tons of food. But, if you sit still your muscles will tighten and delayed onset muscle soreness will quickly be apparent. We might have an answer to having post-workout chill time and preventing DOMS all at the same time: FOOD. Here are 7 foods which will help reduce the pain after your workout, meaning you can chill and eat healthy food to your heart’s content without worrying.
Dark coloured berries
Studies have shown that the ingestion of dark coloured berries, such as blueberries and tart cherries, can help with DOMS (1). This is because dark berries reduce oxidative stress, meaning your muscles will recover quicker from intense exercise. They also contain nutrients which carry waste, such as lactic acid, away from your muscles. Toxins in your muscles after exercise is the main cause of DOMS.
Eat greens such as spinach, chard and lettuce after a workout. They help speed up metabolic processes which means your body will work faster to repair muscle, and therefore reduce DOMS. They also hold nutrients which reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a major effect of intense exercise. Your body inflames overworked muscles to protect them from damage, but when recovering your body has to reduce inflammation in order to repair muscles. By speeding up this process, you’re helping your body out and reducing DOMS faster!
Omega-3 should be your best friend if you’re a fitness fanatic! It improves cellular repairs and is also anti-inflammatory. Researchers have found that omega-3 actually combats oxidative stress and reduces waste during intense exercise. One of the best sources on omega-3 is oily fish, such as salmon. The protein in fish is also essential to muscle repair and building!
Fermented foods are great for your gut. They improve your digestion which is essential to muscle repair. A healthy gut leads to the effective absorption of nutrients needed for recovery, it facilities the metabolism of waste products in muscles after working our and gets rid of oxidative stress and inflammation. Fermented foods are full of probiotics which help maintain a healthy gut by replacing the good bacteria in your stomach.
If you’re after protein, eggs are a great go-to. They are so full of it which is essential for repairing your muscles and reducing the length of DOMS. They have a high concentration of leucine, an amino acid which build muscle. Eggs have been found to reduce inflammation, too. This is probably to their high protein content and low refined carb content.
Turmeric is know in the wellness world for its anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it is awesome for reducing DOMS. By reducing inflammation, you’re also getting rid of the waste products that the lactic acid causes in your muscles. This is one of the first processes during recovery. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your breakfast scrambled eggs or try a turmeric latte – both are a delicious way to get your daily intake of turmeric!
Drink water + fruit juice
Recovery without DOMS may be as simple as staying hydrated. Water is needed for muscle function. In fact, being hydrated by as little as 2% reduces your strength and performance. This is because dehydration leads to a drop in plasma production. Plasma transports energy to your muscles, so without enough of it your muscles are deprived of the energy they need for repairs. Make sure you drink water throughout the day and up the intake during your workout. Drink water with a splash of fruit juice to fully absorb all the water you are taking in. When you’re dehydrated then suddenly drink lots of water, your body struggles to use it all up so passes a large portion of it through into your urine. To slow this process down and give your body time to absorb water into your blood, add fruit juice!